Robbie Brady is desperate for a chance to help right the wrongs of the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup play-off drubbing by Denmark after admitting it “kills” him to be left out of the squad.
The 27-year-old Burnley midfielder did not make the Ireland party for the September and October Euro 2020 qualifiers as he struggled to force his way back into club boss Sean Dyche’s plans after missing the start of the season with a fractured rib.
However, having returned to Premier League action – albeit largely as a substitute – in recent weeks, he is back in Mick McCarthy’s fold and hoping for a role in Monday night’s final Group D fixture against the Danes, who famously won 5-1 in Dublin two years ago to book a trip to Russia last summer.
Brady, who is likely to be involved in Thursday night’s friendly against New Zealand in Dublin, said: “It kills me when I’m not involved. It just gives me that extra bit of drive now this week to go and perform and get my name on the teamsheet come the big game.
“We’ve a game Thursday and I’ll be looking to impress and hopefully do enough to be in contention to start.
“I don’t want to feel the disappointment like I did the last time. It’s a good opportunity and a good chance to show what we’re about and hopefully we can all gel together and come up with a very big result.”
Brady was a key member of the Republic side which made it to the finals of Euro 2016, and he along with fellow midfielder Jeff Hendrick returned from France with his reputation enhanced to the point where both were later snapped up by the Clarets.
However, injuries since have severely limited him and he is keener than ever to return to is best form for both club and country.
He said: “Everyone wants to play. I don’t like sitting around on the bench, I’m one that wants to play and give 100 per cent every time I can.
“I feel as though I’m doing all I can off the pitch to be knocking on the door and showing that I’m fit and that I can play, but I have to wait for my opportunity.
“Football can change quick and hopefully it does in my case and I can get back in and get a run of games.”
Monday’s game represents the sixth time Ireland and the Danes have met in the last two years with four of those games ending in draws.
But it is the debacle at the Aviva Stadium, in which the home side took an early lead, which sticks in the memory.
Brady said: “Obviously it’s there, we’ve seen it happen and some of us were there playing, but it’s different circumstances and a great opportunity to put it right.
“We’ve got an opportunity to push ourselves to the Euros, so if one game is the difference in doing that, we’ll be going full out for that one game.”